A friend has just received an email from their ISP advising a change, forced on them by NBNCO, reducing their data allowance from Unlimited to 200 mb/s. They also enjoy 50mb/s download speed but no mention about changes to this.
Seems a bit weird that a wholesaler can dictate terms under which a retailer can on-sell the product.
Anybody know what this is about or the rationale behind this change?
Below is the text of the said email.
We are making changes to the data allowance (download and upload) that will apply to your MyRepublic nbn broadband service, which is provided over nbn’s Fixed Wireless technology.
From 1 August 2019 all MyRepublic services that connect to the nbn network via the Fixed Wireless technology will no longer have an Unlimited data inclusion. These services will now be subject to a monthly data allowance of 200GB download and 60GB upload.
This change is being implemented as a result of a change in product requirements from our wholesale provider, nbn Co, which is outside our control.
As part of the change to the monthly data allowance we are introducing data usage notifications so that you can manage your usage accordingly. We will send you an email alert when your data usage reaches 50%, 85% and 100% of your monthly data allowance.
Also, as part of the monthly data allowance change, we are moving your monthly invoice cycle date to the first of the month from 1 August 2019. This is so that you can more easily manage your data usage based on a calendar month.
Once your data usage reaches 100% of your monthly data allowance your service will be shaped to 128kbps for both upload and download, and the shaping will be removed once the new calendar month begins.
Options available to you.
If the introduction of a monthly data allowance means this service no longer meets your needs, you can cancel your service without penalty by contacting our Customer Service on Live Chat (https://support.myrepublic.com.au/hc/en-us).
If no action is taken by you, your service will automatically change to include the monthly data allowance described above and move to calendar monthly invoicing on 1 August 2019.
Ahh the change is not 200 Mbps but rather a limit on data allocation/amount ie unlimited data a month to 200GB a month and NBN Co can certainly do this. They limit capacity on the nbn™ satellite network so that all users get some usable allowance rather than just a few taking all the available capacity. The Fixed Wireless is also in a similar boat to satellite that in each tower only has a limited capacity. So the more connections you have the less capacity there is for each household/connection to get a ‘piece’ of. This is just a reflection of the inferior service much of the nbn™ truly offers customers on the MTM NBN.
Want the problem fixed then you need to push for fibre optic to as many connections as possible rather than FTTN, Fixed Wireless, and satellite. HFC isn’t so bad as speed and capacity are fairly high and FTTN can cope data allocation wise but not speed wise for most users of that tech.
Wouldn’t matter who they went to on that tower. It is NBN Co who are limiting capacity to reduce the congestion on that tower, I guess it may be one of those they will increase capacity on, in the great never never timescale.
Np about the seniors moment I have one about every minute of my day, sometimes multiple at the same time. MyRepublic have the same pricing structure placed on them as any other NBN Co client, they don’t have much wriggle room as regards breaking even or making a loss. NBN Co are actually looking at dropping speed teirs on Fixed Wireless as they can’t meet demand and so would be in breach of ACCC regulations on what speeds they sell and are moving to a "best effort’ plan that may have a top speed of around 70 Mbps but currently in peak times many can’t get much more than 3 Mbps over Fixed Wireless (worse than many ADSL2 connections were capable of)…yep a network for the future.
Thanks for the info. My friend does live in a small country town in SE qld and does have the benefit of the tower being in full view and quite near to his home. Guess the town folk are taking for advantage of the facility and thus placing increasing demand on the tower’s capacity. I’ll pass your thought on. Thanks again.
Looks like a new take on the Liberal business model. If you cannot provide your product to your customers you tell you customers to rack off to have fewer customers with handicapped services that work to a point, or if their only other options are nothing or $$$ mobile internet.
My take is this government combined the Arts with Communications because it is an Art to spin that we have Communications. If you cannot constructively (or otherwise) make much use of the network you are also probably safer having less access to ‘bad things and sites’ so they have met another KPI.
Depending on the size of the township the immediate residents may be on a FTTN, (fibre to the node) connection, where there is one central node located in or near to the local exchange. As @grahroll pointed out the fundamental issue is the capacity of the technology and design used by the NBN Co.
Looking at our local area around the Sunshine Coast hinterland, only the smallest of local communities are getting FIxed Wireless. The larger have the still slow but less contested FTTN, EG Mooloolah, Landsborough, Maleny, etc, townships with FW for the remainder of their residents in more rural properties, (approx 1,000 premises in each postcode between the town and surrounding rural areas).
However the smaller townships of Peachester and Beerburum (300-500 mostly scattered properties miss out and are all FW). The community at Peachester and other local communities have been fighting for several years against the construction of a FW tower and substandard outcome from the NBN. Their area is hilly and forested which is also a concern.
Many of the local FW towers are not connected directly to the NBN fibre. They rely on a Wireless (microwave) data links between the towers to connect. The data capacity over these links are very limited. 900Mbps original design per tower. That is the total bandwidth to share between all users connected to the tower at that time! Some towers also relay which is worse?
For your friend, the NBN knows it has an issue with FW and in part fessed up 12 months ago in one instance.
Currently the NBN reports approx 50% of FW customers average 25Mbps or faster in the so called “peak hour” approximation. The base standard for the FW service is a minimum 6Mbps “peak hour”, with services that don’t achieve 3Mbps being targets for upgrades.
Not the quality of outcome promised in the eyes of some, however apparently quite acceptable to the majority of regional electors of Qld. The NBN Co cannot provide better outcomes to regional areas without the Govt digging deeper into the public purse. Canberra set the ground rules for the cost and solutions. It will all need fixing in the near future and is going to cost even more, although once privatised the NBN upgrades will be user pays?
As it is the only way to connect to the internet via the nbn™ once active in the town and the old service ADSL is removed, most people would move over to the nbn™ and thus the tower. Your friend could also see if Telstra, Optus or a similar provider supplies a decent 4G or 5G wireless internet service, it will likely cost a lot more for data but it might have more speed than they might get from the nbn™ connection. Sorry that there isn’t a better answer to their issue that is easy enough or cheap enough to implement. They could look at a community WIFI service but this means many or everyone has to put a reasonable amount of money into the ‘bucket’ to fund the hardware needed.
Just as a thought they could also see if there already is a small scale provider of internet in their area such as Clearstream Internet. While this particular company may not be in the friend’s area there may be a similar type business there. Your friend could always contact Clearstream to see if they or someone they know is in that area. Many of these small scale providers while they may charge a little more than a nbn™ connection often offer a much superior service when in these ‘difficult’ locations.
A bit more from the site on the Clearstream service to give some idea of speeds, limits, and costs (this is likely similar to other suppliers of similar services):
The following suburbs and surrounding areas are currently able to connect to our wireless network:
Greater Brisbane - Must have line of site to Mt Coot-tha
Lowood / Glamorganvale / Fernvale / Minden / Marburg
Installation costs $110.00 and is subject to a free site inspection.
There is no ongoing contract. We rely on the fact that you will like the service and stay.
All new wireless installations come with a 7 day grace period and includes a full money back guarantee if the service does not meet your expectations.
The plans below indicate the speed we try to acheive for each user. In some areas like Eatons Hill we can deliver speeds much higher due to the close proximity of customers to our access point. Using new technology we can now acheive speeds above 250Mbps up and down to a customer[My bolding]. Speeds will vary depending on network overheads, network load, the sites you are using, time of day and many other factors out of our control. If you require a constant bit rate please contact us to obtain a quote for a business grade connection.
Thank very much for your efforts. I will be sure to pass this on. My mate lives in Toogoolawah so the mention of Fernvale might be a good sign. He was certainly happy with MyRepublic with regard to the speed which was supposed to be at 50mb/s He runs his computer, two mobiles, a tablet and a smart TV so that part is not an issue. Most ISP’s offer “unlimited” but they know that only some heavy users will really need this. We have got “unlimited” at home and the 200gb’s My R are offering would well and truly serve our needs. Sometimes I think that offering “unlimited” is, in most cases, just a PR exercise to show how generous they are when they know full well most people don’t really need it.
The amount that some use may indeed create a reason for them to look at an option to go for a lower data allowance, but there isn’t always much difference in pricing and that is so true that a user should look at what they need and thus sign up to. The link to BroadbandNow allows a user/household to guesstimate their possible need. I can say with certainty that in our household we do need unlimited and use at the moment 2 or more Terabytes of data a month. With increasing want/need for connectivity the amounts households use will only continue upwards, many households also now have many devices that while not typically used like a PC now benefit from that connectivity and use extra data each day as part of that eg smart fridges, air con controllers, security systems and so on.
If not forced on them by NBNCO then forced on them by the ACCC. “Unlimited” is considered a swear word in connection with any product or service where it is not possible to provide something truly without any limit, and “Unlimited *” does not cut the mustard with the ACCC.
Regardless of the ACCC, surely we have learned our lesson already about “unlimited” in connection with internet plans? “Unlimited” is very rarely sustainable, very rarely lasts for long. A few customers will take it to heart, and use the internet so hard that it is not viable for other customers or for the ISP.
I would go as far as saying that: any ISP customer who signs up for an “unlimited” plan takes some of the responsibility for the failure of the ISP to deliver that plan forever. Go ahead and leach hard while you can, but assume from the outset that the bonanza won’t last forever.
In this case, the ISP is giving customers the opportunity to terminate the contract early without penalty - if you think that you can get an “Unlimited” deal with another ISP.
Of course it is what they really term ‘fair use’. Why is it a failure to continue to deliver? If the tech supports very high speeds and thus movement of large amounts of data, a provider can continue to supply the data as long as the pipeline has capacity. It is just pricing that data. Overseas there are also many ‘unlimited’ plans on much higher bandwidth circuits eg 10 Gbps speed plans that are vastly cheaper than our offerings here. What a provider has to recover under the nbn™ is firstly their wholesale costs and they offer their plans based on those as many of the NBN Co charges are fixed and high, then they can add frills such as Fetch TV or Foxtel. What they charge to provide the frills is mostly their choice and to stay competitive with their other competitors in the market.
There are some technologies used that have harsher limitations than others eg Fixed Wireless and Satellite are very poor regarding capacity Vs Fibre Optic that has very large capacity per strand. I am sure one day a single fibre will be saturated but then that offers the opportunity for multi strands that are combined to offer even higher capacity in a very small footprint.
The reason MyRepublic would be offering no fault termination is that they are obliged under contract law to do so as the contract they sold is no longer valid. As I said the tower is the problem and any RSP/ISP(old term) using that tower will have exactly the same issue with what NBN Co are allowing, until that tower gets increased capacity or the tech used is changed to support higher bandwidth the problem will remain.
My response was to the broad statement you made, not to the shaping that the people on that Tower are receiving. More of the problem on that tower is not the use by unlimited plans but the capacity of a very limited service to deliver the promise of a LNP Govt to supply us with a World Class service. They are basically saying “You want to use the nbn™ to connect you to the world for any number of reasons but hey we are going to savagely limit that ability because we had no foresight”. The tower has a small ability to feed a larger than anticipated audience, that’s the problem.
Let’s start by banning the word “nbn”. There is no such thing. It is an fbn, f for fragmented, a hodge podge of different technologies with wildly differing capability. In fact, it was never ever proposed as a truly national network. There were always going to be digital losers. It’s just that the set of losers is these days proposed to be (much) larger.
An adjunct to this is being able to identify how the Fixed Wireless towers in an area, in this instance the Brisbane Valley, Esk, Toogoolawah are interconnected. Also which of the towers are physically connected to fibre and have better backhaul capacity, and those that are relying in the microwave relay backhaul. All of that region from Ipswich northwest through to near Kingaroy appears to be Fixed Wireless in the areas around each major settlement, with no fixed line services. It’s possible to dig deeper and make an educated guess at how it all connects.
However knowing so is not going to change the outcome. The design of the FW NBN network only really provides for email, low level browsing and on a good day a single SD data stream. Although the prospect of the NBN charging extra for streaming content for FW or Satellite would really be a step too far.
Of course not and I certainly wrote to the Ministers and spoke to my local Federal Member about the stuff up they call MTM NBN. I also wrote online about it in forums like here on CHOICE. But as a people we voted the LNP in and we got what they wanted to give us. We still vote them in and we still get what they want to give us. We here just means the larger amount of the voting population of Australia not individual voters.
If we want positive change we need to force positive outcomes by refusing to support those who give us negative or neutral outcomes, this mostly only happens at the voting box and so Australians need to become smarter about who and what they vote for.
While other responses agree that fixed wireless is a total mess, I suggest your friend make sure of the problem first. They can do this by checking what other ISPs are prepared to offer. While it is likely to be a problem with the NBN’s wireless congestion, there is a possibility that the ISP just sees an opportunity to raise prices and blame-shift. Getting quotes from other ISPs (should be possible on their websites, just typing in the address) would confirm exactly where the issue is - and if your friend is ‘lucky’ enough for it to be merely a case of My Republic over-selling capacity when it hasn’t bought enough from NBN Co. then your friend can move to another ISP.
And 128kbps would be unusable on a modern website.